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Everything you need to know about Sweden's BankID and its alternatives

Emilia Jansson
Emilia Jansson - [email protected]
Everything you need to know about Sweden's BankID and its alternatives
Swedish electronic ID is used for everything from doing your taxes to booking a Covid vaccine. Photo: Isabell Höjman/TT

Sweden is a country that loves technology. In fact, more than eight million people in the country of ten million use electronic IDs in their daily lives, to access services or shop online.


An electronic ID (eID) can be helpful and make your life more simple. But to receive one in Sweden you need to have a personnummer (a 10 or 12-digit code you get when you're registered as living in Sweden).

Unlike in other countries, Sweden's eID system is privately-owned, meaning there is no central governmental authority responsible for issuing eIDs in Sweden. This has led to the current situation, where there are a few different choices for eID providers.

There are three types of electronic ID you can use in Sweden:



Set up in 2005 and issued by Finansiell ID-Teknik (which is owned by several Swedish banks), this is by far the most dominant eID used in Sweden.

You can use your BankID for multiple different services, including mobile payment app Swish, online shopping and logging into your bank account.

There are three ways of using your BankID. You can use it as an app, downloaded from Google Play or the Apple store. Alternatively, it can be connected to your bank card. Your bank will provide you with a card reader to connect the card with your computer. Finally, you can access BankID as a downloadable file. Simply log into your online banking service, download the BankID file to your computer and set up a password.

A BankID file is active for a limited period of time. The validity period can vary, but is often around three months, after which you will need to download a new one. 

You can order a BankID through your bank. Each bank will have their own application process, so you will have to check with each one for further instructions. In general though, you must have a personnummer and be a client at the bank.

The following banks issue BankIDs, although some require that those wishing to be issued a new BankID hold a Swedish passport or police-issued national ID card, which in practice makes them unavailable to foreigners. See here for our in-depth article on each banks' requirements.

  • Danske Bank
  • Handelsbanken
  • Ica Banken
  • Länsförsäkringar
  • Nordea
  • SEB
  • Skandia
  • Sparbanken Syd
  • Swedbank
  • Ålandsbanken


Freja eID

Freja eID is another app you can use to prove your identity. You can download it from your phone’s app store and use it to identify yourself online.

Although Freja eID has been approved by the Swedish Agency for Digital Government and is a valid form for online ID, it is not accepted as widely as BankID. One example of this is the payment app Swish, which does not accept Freja eID.

Despite this, Freja eID can be used at many government agencies, including the Tax Agency, the Pensions Agency and the Employment Agency.

Again, you need a personnummer to set up Freja eID. You also need to be living in Sweden. 

Freja eID is available to those aged 13 and above. Those wishing to apply for Freja eID who are under 13 must have permission from a legal guardian.

The Swedish Tax Agency's electronic ID card (Skatteverkets ID card)

Skatteverket's ID cards issued after 2017 contain an electronic ID, although this can currently only be used on Skatteverket's own website. The agency state that "the idea is that this will also work on other agency's websites in the future", but this is not yet the case.

Skatteverket's ID card can be used as a regular ID in Sweden, but not abroad. It is not the same as a Swedish national ID card, which is only available to Swedish citizens and is issued by the Swedish police.

A letter with a personal unblocking key (PUK) will be sent to your home when you receive your ID card, and you will select a PIN code when logging in for the first time.

If your ID card was issued before 2017, it will use a Telia eID. Telia eIDs are not available any more, but the ones in circulation still work. Again, you will have been sent a PUK and PIN code to your home. If you have lost your codes for this card, you will have to apply for an entirely new ID card.

To receive a Skatteverket ID card you need to be at least 13 years old, registered as living in Sweden and be able to prove your identity. If you are under 18 you need permission from your legal guardian.

To apply for a Tax Agency ID card you must make an appointment at a Tax Agency office. The application fee is 400 kronor.

You can apply for a Swedish Tax Agency ID card here.

Article written by Emilia Jansson in June 2021, updated by Becky Waterton in July 2022.


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Anonymous 2021/07/01 20:24
Readers might be interested that recent migrants and immigrants may require an income from Sweden to open a bank account for a BankID. After money lauding scandals involving a few of the banks listed here, this consortium is reluctant to open accounts for those without a BankID. Hope this helps.

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